the exciting new 1940s burlesque night you need to know about

We love bringing you a little something different here at BOTI and that’s exactly what new burlesque events company The Black Market offers.

The brainchild of Brighton-based chef and burlesque fan Romy Alford, the first Black Market event was in September (you can take a peek at what went on here). And this December, they’re back with another immersive night of glitzy 1940s-inspired fabulousness. There’s burlesque, drag, cabaret and cocktails, plus a healthy sprinkling of festive fun and games. It is (almost) Christmas after all.

Taking their name and inspiration from the black markets of World War II – which were also unexpected, underground, unique, unifying and, yes, a teensy bit naughty – we love The Black Market’s ethos and community values.

Lovingly local

That World War II-era community spirit, complete with slogans like ‘Make Do and Mend’ and ‘Dig for Victory’, also inspired The Black Market’s food offering and Romy’s commitment to sustainability, both in terms of opting for local seasonal products and maintaining a zero-waste production policy.

And The Black Market really does keep it local, celebrating Brighton and Hove’s best performers and showcasing only food and drink producers that fall within a 10-mile radius of the city centre at their events.

the black market food brighton

All the food is entirely plant-based and impressively ‘free from’ – i.e. it doesn’t contain any of the 14 allergens outlined by the Food Safety Agency (you know, like sesame, soybeans, gluten-containing cereals, etc).

Happily though, the WW2-themed menus make up in flavour what they lack in allergens – think war-time foods brought right up to date in top-notch seasonal dishes with a modern, luxurious twist. There are no rations here!

Creative cabaret

So what you can expect from December’s event? Held in the lovely Old Market in Hove – a BOTI favourite and a proud supporter of the LGBTQIA2S+ community – there’s obviously a rollicking great line-up.

Think creative cabaret from Beatrix Carlotta; camp horror comedy from Spectre, ‘Brighton’s spookiest booty’; aerial artistry from pyro mistress (and owner of Brighton Aerial Arts if you fancy taking a class) Aurora Starr and epic hula hoop skills from rollerskating pro Kiki LaHula. And hostesses with the absolute mostness, the brilliant Rita Herringbone and Glenda Swing, BOTI’s favourite actresses ‘from’ the golden age of black and white cinema, are back to keep proceedings in order (sort of).

Every ticket includes a free welcome cocktail (mixed from locally made products, of course) and a chance to win tickets to the after-party at The Plotting Parlour. But if you fancy pushing the boat out for a pre-Christmas celebration, we’d recommend nabbing a prime-position cabaret table for six people. This also gets you two welcome cocktails per person, entrance to the VIP room where you’ll get some tasty vegan canapés, and a post-show meet and greet with the entertainers.

Romy is currently developing The Black Market to include an online platform, offering bespoke burlesque events for corporate clients, again featuring only local entertainers and food and drink brands. Watch this space!

In the meantime, you can appreciate the very best today’s Black Market has to offer by snapping up a ticket to the next event, A Twisted Christmas. Dig out the feathers and faux fur, get your vintage glam on, slap on the lashes and party like it’s 1949!

Friday 2nd December; 6.30pm – 11pm; from £35 (discounted prices are available to those who work or have worked in the public services and/or armed forces)
The Old Market, 11A Upper Market Street, Hove BN3 1AS
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